Any decision on the future of a portion of the 15 Portland Road property the town of Kennebunk bought last year will wait until after a facilities study is complete. The study is due Jan. 15. Tammy Wells photo

KENNEBUNK – Any decision on the future of a portion of the town-owned property at 15 Portland Road is on hold as an overall facilities study and master plan is being carried out.

The Select Board had sought to learn what a portion of the property – the home and about 7/10th of an acre of the five- acre property might bring, if sold. A proposal resulted in two responses from real estate brokers, but some board members said the responses appeared to be listing agreements.

Board member Ed Karytko said he had previously sought clarification about what the board was seeking, and had been assured if was for determining what the property was worth.

“The last discussion was clear about getting an assessment of value,” said board member Shiloh Schulte.

Chair Blake Baldwin agreed that the board had not decided whether to sell the property.

And as it turns out, the town does have the result of an appraisal conducted in 2019, as it contemplated purchasing the property. At that time, the home and 1.5 acres of the 5-acre property was valued at $465,000.

Board member Peter Brewitt said he believes the town should hang onto the entire parcel.

“I’ve been opposed to selling this right along,” said Brewitt, who said he had a vision of whatever the town does there being “front and center,” rather than at the back of the lot.

With voter approval, the town purchased the 1820s home and 5 acres at 15 Portland Road in November 2019. The purchase price was $825,000. The property fronts Portland Road (Route 1) and abuts the Kennebunk Police Station at 4 Summer St. While there were no firm plans for the property at the time of purchase, town officials noted it could serve as a location for the town’s public safety departments, which are crowded at their current locations, or a town hall.

This spring, as the COVID-19 pandemic emerged, the board thought about selling a portion of the property to help swell the coffers and agreed some time ago to seek the appraisal.

The board on Nov. 10 briefly discussed the historic value of the home, and a member of the public noted it had been renovated in the 1960s, suggesting it might not be considered an historic structure.

The overall facilities and master plan study will encompass the space the town currently uses for most of its functions, and what it might need 15 years into the future. Some town-owned properties, like the public works building, are being examined in parallel to the upcoming facilities study.

The Select Board awarded a contract for the facilities and master plan study to Lavallee Brensinger Architects of Manchester at a maximum cost of $100,000 – which will include a look at 15 Portland Road. Director of Community Development Chris Osterrieder said the company has undertaken several facilities studies as well as specific projects. Locally, Lavallee Brensinger designed the new public safety building in Wells, and the new Sanford High School and Regional Technical Center.

The company was among seven that submitted responses to requests for qualifications, he said.

The study is expected to be completed by Jan. 15.

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